Baked eggs: a recipe for a restorative, resolution-friendly New Year's Day brunch

Whether you’ve resolved to fight food waste, cut back on brunches out, or just eat a little healthier – a brunch of baked eggs will hit the spot quickly, and can be prepared with minimal fuss. It’s restorative if you’re starting the decade out with a sore head, and also works at lunch or dinner time.

This dish can combine various leftovers you’ll find in a stocked, post-Christmas fridge, but it can also be pulled together using pantry staples.

Restorative baked eggs

Pretty much any small, oven-safe bowl, ramekin, dish or tray will work for this dish. Individual portions will allow you to tailor each serve to specific dietary needs and whims. This dish works well with leftover roast vegetables and preserved meats, which will warm up as the eggs cook. Thinly sliced and quick-cooking raw ingredients like baby spinach and cherry tomatoes can also be used.

Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10-15 min
Serves: Portions are limited only by your eggs, leftovers and hunger

Heat oven to 180C. Cover the base of various ceramic dishes with vegetables, cheeses, legumes and meats, in combinations that take your fancy.

Don’t layer more than a centimetre or so deep, and leave a small divot in the centre for the egg yolk to nestle into.

Crack one or two free-range eggs into centre of the dishes, allowing the white to run through the components and the yolk to sit on display. Salt well.

Bake on a tray, keeping a close eye out as the egg starts to set and become white. This should take about eight to 10 minutes for a small dish with a single egg, or 12 to 15 minutes for a wetter ramekin of goodies with two eggs.

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As soon as the whites have transformed from wobbly and translucent to white, or even when they’re still a little on the wobbly side, remove from the oven. The yolks will still be very runny, as the other ingredients will insulate them from overcooking.

Carefully remove from the oven and allow the dishes to rest for a couple of minutes while your toast cooks. Make sure to place the dishes onto a side plate with a napkin, to avoid burning your fingers. Serve with strong coffee, milky tea, a kombucha or all of the above. Happy new year!

Pictured below are five baked egg combinations made from ingredients in my 2019 Christmas fridge, pantry and herb garden: (clockwise from top left) tomato sugo-style pasta sauce (from a jar), fresh chillies, fresh sliced basil; roast mushroom wedges, braised leek, grated parmesan and raw zucchini flowers; baked beans (from a tin!) halved cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley; smoked salmon, flaked potato gratin, fresh baby spinach leaves and chunky slices of Christmas ham, with frozen peas and a splash of cream.

Five variations of restorative baked eggs

Photograph: Jackie Middleton


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